We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; […]

Source: The Declaration of Independence

I understand "and of Right" as "and of course". Am I on the right track?

1 Answer 1


The "right" here means a statute of law or morality, as in 'human rights'.

In this context, it means that the colonies had the right to be free.

A more modern way to say it would be "and by right ought to be", but this is from an old document.

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